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  #21  
Old 08-27-2010, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
You guys really don't know what the Floats are, do you? Heh, do a Google, learn something.
Even if you know what type of headphone the float really is, it's really hard to not make fun of it. It looks so amusing it's exactly the sort of thing lady Gaga would wear - something that is loud for the sake of being loud.
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  #22  
Old 08-27-2010, 08:47 PM
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My iPod is prettier than my Sansa players....but that's not at all why I bought it.
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  #23  
Old 08-27-2010, 08:55 PM
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My sansa fuze is a direct rip off of the ipod sumo nano. It looks like a badly made one, has a rubbish dock port, uses a bad scroll wheel, lacks the volume buttons... i love my clip, but the fuze is the worst 'gotta have it' player I've ever used.
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  #24  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
My sansa fuze is a direct rip off of the ipod sumo nano. It looks like a badly made one, has a rubbish dock port, uses a bad scroll wheel, lacks the volume buttons... i love my clip, but the fuze is the worst 'gotta have it' player I've ever used.
The lack of volume buttons really does suck, to be sure.
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  #25  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by EggyCuppy View Post
and Im assuming you mean the head-fi/s:flo2/HiFiMan crowd :P
Yes, but I was talking in a more general sense. Consumer electronics has reached the point where marketing (at all price points) has created a total lack of transparency for the consumer. Headphones, cameras, jeans, coffee, dog food, underwear, and even medicine.

Everything is marketing. When you walk into a store and see two bottles of cough syrup - one for $2.99 and one for $4.99 - a lot of people (me included) are drawn towards the $4.99 bottle, even after the pharmacist or doctor tells me they are identical. Surely they can't be exactly the same! One of them must have some magic fairy dust in it

Nobody (apart form monks and ascetics) are immune to it. As The Darkside already pointed out, marketing brings things into our vision and helps convince us it's worth it. There might have been a time when buying a certain brand meant something but it doesn't any longer.

"Experts" like to think they are immune to this but we are not. Actually sometimes "experts" are the worst because we stubbornly defend or detract some product based on our "expert" opinion and spew all sorts of biased nonsense to defend certain points of views.

And that's what marketing is really. It's just another "expert" and authority figure telling us what to think and like.
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  #26  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:27 PM
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How bout the tiny select nipple? in the Sansa firmware, navigation is horrid, but even with rockbox, it isn't worthwhile. Back in 2005 or 2006, they did the iSheep thing, then made the fuze a few years later that is more of an iPod wannabe than any other non-iPod player I've owned. the only problem is that it fails in every area that the iPod succeeds. I love the form factor and wish that Sansa weren't so bug-out stupid. The Fuze could have been amazing.

The hiss is too much, the grain is too much, the navigation is horrid, the controls are rubbish, the lack of buttons is worse than any iPod I've used, the screen is bad, the video is an afterthought (a true me-too afterthought), the dock is a slap in the face of their own prior campaign, and the lighted wheel is the sleaziest bling thing I've ever seen.
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  #27  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
Yes, but I was talking in a more general sense. Consumer electronics has reached the point where marketing (at all price points) has created a total lack of transparency for the consumer. Headphones, cameras, jeans, coffee, dog food, underwear, and even medicine.

Everything is marketing. When you walk into a store and see two bottles of cough syrup - one for $2.99 and one for $4.99 - a lot of people (me included) are drawn towards the $4.99 bottle, even after the pharmacist or doctor tells me they are identical. Surely they can't be exactly the same! One of them must have some magic fairy dust in it

Nobody (apart form monks and ascetics) are immune to it. As The Darkside already pointed out, marketing brings things into our vision and helps convince us it's worth it. There might have been a time when buying a certain brand meant something but it doesn't any longer.

"Experts" like to think they are immune to this but we are not. Actually sometimes "experts" are the worst because we stubbornly defend or detract some product based on our "expert" opinion and spew all sorts of biased nonsense to defend certain points of views.

And that's what marketing is really. It's just another "expert" and authority figure telling us what to think and like.
odigg, as always, you tell it like it is.
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  #28  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:30 PM
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Err, what is an iPod Sumo Nano?

To be honest, when something's the majority of the market, you can't really call it bling any more.

If almost everyone dressed like Gaga, would we call her clothings bling? No.
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  #29  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
*SNIPPED (in b4 skip252)*
I think the people in the S:Flo camp are so worried about defending their player that they say, has no bling factor. The truth is that it is a useless touch screen. The reason it's there? To satisfy the bling crowd. I have this player - it is THE worst touch screen I've ever used.

The player lacks music-playback basic amenities common to the lowliest if iPods: gapless playback, ID3Tag support, real playlists. *SNIPPED (in b4 skip252)*
@EggyCuppy
He likes the sflo2?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
*SNIPPED (in b4 skip252)*
Everyone listens to what they want to listen to in the way they want to. Who cares if it is a Cowon or a Sony, or a HiFiMan or an iPod? If you have problems with the company they listen to, it shows your own weakness to marketing rather than theirs.
Sort of true until they start preaching about how iPods are the best. At that point it should be a divine duty to enlighten them.
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  #30  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:58 PM
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The S:Flo? I really dislike that player. I don't know why suddenly I am an S:Flo fan, but that is of little matter.

I think if you re-read the posts in this thread, you'll see that they are pointed at one thing: marketing and how each of us responds. Some respond by purposely going the opposite way, searching for alternatives, or praising them (whether they be Apple, Sony, Cowon, Sansa) as better in every way.

Every company has a company line, and that is what matters. Some company's lines are bashing other companies. Others are that they have the best sound, or that they are technically superior, or (and this one I hate) ethically superior.

Here's some beef: why bash iTunes when DBP, for instance, isn't a music library, playback system? Assuming that everyone who uses iTunes uses it for everything is as stupid as saying the same thing for Winamp, or FooBar, or anything.

Of course people who use iTunes may use it for encoding/ripping; others, however, may use Max or CDparanoia, or DBT, or EAC - to each her own. It doesn't matter at the end of the day what software you use, or if you use software or not. There is no superior user. There are users who hate certain brands and love others, or who pick a brand to love or hate; there are users who just go into a store and buy what's easiest.

That goes for everything. Singling out a person for using a product from A Company is silly because whereas in your circle, that is a no no, in other cirlces, products you think are great are ridiculed even more.

No person is superior or inferior based on a bloody DAP or earphones. Bashing people for choosing a player? That is laughable. Getting into philosophic debates on the choice of Apple VS Sansa? that is even worse as it denies every other critical element. Trust me, each of us wears, uses, drives, eats, drinks, etc., something that is detestable to another group of people who may consider themselves an elite.

So there is no use at all in going high and mighty over any brand.

Points to keep in mind about me:
I started out hating Apple. I still own: Sansa, Teclast, Meizu, Sony, HiSound, Panasonic, Sharp, Kenwood and many others. I am a collector. I got out of MD life in 2006 after 7 years of hating everything except their progeny: the CD player. Then I saw the light: it doesn't matter what you listen to as long as it suites your needs.

Still, I am a collected. I've been reading ABI religiously since 2005, but never bothered to post here. I find it as sensible as any hifi site. It has its prejudices and its idiots like any other hifi site.

There are a lot of sensible users here. My hat goes off to a few that I know by name: WalkGood, Darkside, DFKT, James and a few others whose names escape me for now. We all have prejudices, even the good DFKT.

But we get along pretty damn well.

So the fact that I use an iPod shuffle 1G for most or my on the road listening should matter none to anyone. If I suddenly rise up and say it is the best and that all others suck, that should be a problem. The same goes for my Fuze or my S:Flo.

It is obvious, however, that I don't like the Fuze very much at all, especially coming from a lot of good players that are made with the user in mind. My main gripe with the fuze is that it is so much an iPod wannabe, that it is laughable. In 2005, like I said, Sansa put on the iSheep campaing telling everyone who buys and iPod is a sheep. The fuze is their most iPod-like player ever. If Sansa is going to keep a respectable name, they should NOT make an iPod look and act alike.

They should keep on the good road: Clip-like dedication to playback and user-friendlieness.

I never ever said the S:Flo is a miracle. I think you'd find me quite of the opposite opinion. DFKT can back me up in this. It sounds good, but everything else is complete rubbish. Yet, it isn't as self emaciating as the Fuze which goes against everything Sansa purportedly stood for just 5 years ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio View Post
@EggyCuppy
He likes the sflo2?



Sort of true until they start preaching about how iPods are the best. At that point it should be a divine duty to enlighten them.
I'll admit to probably living in different parts of the world than you do. I've never heard anyone say the iPod is best. They like it and love it maybe, or bought it because it was easy, but not a one I know things it is so damn amazing. Still, that would be as annoying as the opposite side crooning about their other brand player and how it is best at everything and definitely has the 100% best sound and everything!
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  #31  
Old 08-27-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EggyCuppy View Post
*snip*

as to lack of seprate volume controls, again, I like the wheel being used for that, Its easy and it means there are not a bunch more buttons allover the player.

as to the navigation, I and many others find the OF and RB navigation to be "just fine" or even LIKE IT, you dont, and thats GREAT, go back to your s:flo2 and enjoy its wonderfull touch screen
Dude, you need to chill. I, and many other of the more senior members here, would put more stock in shigzeo's opinions than anything you've said here. Every other post of yours is "Fuze is great, Rockbox is great , Vorbis is great".....with both screen names you've used.

I'll agree on Rockbox being great, can't fault you for that....but still, not everyone likes the Fuze. I don't like the fact that the wheel controls the volume, myself....I'd prefer buttons like the Clip+ has.
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  #32  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:03 PM
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Just a request - Can we forget about the IPOD vs others battle? It's the same old fight and at the end of the day neither the Sansa or Apple players are all that bad. As has already been pointed out, there is far worse stuff for much higher prices.
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  #33  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by odigg View Post
Just a request - Can we forget about the IPOD vs others battle? It's the same old fight and at the end of the day neither the Sansa or Apple players are all that bad. As has already been pointed out, there is far worse stuff for much higher prices.
Agreed!
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  #34  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:12 PM
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Yep, thirded would be good.

Besides, this is about headphones. Sorry for getting drawn in quite passionately to a complete train derail.

Again, I'm glad that cheap bundled earphones exist. The more expensive Sony models that came with my four sony players are good, but they are a waste of my money. I wish they came with crap so that I didn't have to worry about giving the nice ones away to someone who'd really enjoy them (if I can find a person like that).

Another thing that is annoying is that some players have recessed jacks - and that makes certain earphones (ones that use the block head connector) unusable. The new HiSound player and old iPhone are two examples. A couple of amps are like that too which is a shame.

I guess part of what I get from the article is that Gizmodo are simple headline chasers. They have very little of worth to say, but are very good at saying it.
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  #35  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:23 PM
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Apple and Microsoft are American, Creative Singaporean, and Cowon, Samsung Korean.

@Shigzeo

Well, when I sold my iPod Touch for a Cowon D2 *quite* a few people remarked that I was stupid trading the iPod for something that sounded inferior.
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  #36  
Old 08-27-2010, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio View Post
Apple and Microsoft are American, Creative Singaporean, and Cowon, Samsung Korean.

@Shigzeo

Well, when I sold my iPod Touch for a Cowon D2 *quite* a few people remarked that I was stupid trading the iPod for something that sounded inferior.
I did the the opposite: sold my D2.

Anyway, this isn't about iPod or shameful conglomerates anymore (trust me, don't get me started on Samsung... oops), it's about earphones.
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  #37  
Old 08-28-2010, 01:47 AM
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Wow, busy thread...With a touch of the old Friday Night Fights thrown in to boot

I am not gonna start the nonsense again either...

@Shigzeo, welcome back Your voice has been missed around here.

Getting back on topic a bit, the whole Gizmodo expose would have surprised me a bit 9 months ago. Thanks to knowledgeable folks here I stand now a bit better informed on the phenomenon.

Surely the article is referencing the vast majority of the el dirt cheapo IEMs/headphone market, and is stuff I don't think any regular on ABi would consider putting anywhere near their ears, even in the direst emergencies.

Still, the law of probability would seem to indicate that of the dozens [hundreds even!] of cheap Chinese headphone models churned out that at least a few of them might actually sound pretty OK...alright, maybe 1 or 2, especially for pennies on the dollar.

Personal cases in point:
I have a pair of Soundmagic PL21s I bought earlier this year in Hong Kong. At the bargain basement price of 14USD, I not only got a pair of pretty OK sounding IEMs, I also got a pleather velcro carry case, a set of ear guides and 4 pairs each of differnt size silicon and foamy tips. Most impressive though is that the sound out of the Soundmagics are surprisingly good, even to my admittedly untrained [but still kinda fussy] ears.

And then there are my beloved i590s from Maximo, a company with a slightly tarnished reputation here on ABi for alleged past shilling sins. Funny enough I recently received an unsolicited and extremely nice email from a senior person at Maximo [a guy who is well known to you headfi-ers] - he touches on this very OEM phenomenon and basically admits that their first generation IEMs did indeed come from "open tool" housing designs, but that internally the specs and parts came from them, as well as Maximo designed exterior trim/finishes.

The i590s however appear to be a whole new ballgame, with a pretty unique aesthetic design [from what I have seen out there] and sound internals, all of which I assume is directly conceived and controlled by Maximo.

In any event, I stand by my love of the i590s and honestly feel they are excellent IEMs to consider in the very crowded sub 50USD field.

Ah, whatever, I digress....and I am really not intending to get on a Maximo high horse.

Bottom line, I guess the Gizmodo article, while illuminating, probably doesn't surprise many people. And while the vast majority of the stuff they refer to are gonna be 100% craptastic, like anything else in life, surely there must be a few pieces of wheat to be found in all that chaff.... I think I got lucky with my stuff 'cause to me, they sound pretty darn OK. [If, that is, my SMs and Maximos are part of this OEM crowd]

As always, YMMV...

cheers!
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  #38  
Old 08-28-2010, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
Just a request - Can we forget about the IPOD vs others battle? It's the same old fight and at the end of the day neither the Sansa or Apple players are all that bad. As has already been pointed out, there is far worse stuff for much higher prices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin the Martian View Post
Agreed!
Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
Yep, thirded would be good.

Besides, this is about headphones. Sorry for getting drawn in quite passionately to a complete train derail.

Again, I'm glad that cheap bundled earphones exist. The more expensive Sony models that came with my four sony players are good, but they are a waste of my money. I wish they came with crap so that I didn't have to worry about giving the nice ones away to someone who'd really enjoy them (if I can find a person like that).

Another thing that is annoying is that some players have recessed jacks - and that makes certain earphones (ones that use the block head connector) unusable. The new HiSound player and old iPhone are two examples. A couple of amps are like that too which is a shame.

I guess part of what I get from the article is that Gizmodo are simple headline chasers. They have very little of worth to say, but are very good at saying it.
Forth'd!!! Back to the cheap iem's and cans please!!!
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  #39  
Old 08-28-2010, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestatar View Post
Still, the law of probability would seem to indicate that of the dozens [hundreds even!] of cheap Chinese headphone models churned out that at least a few of them might actually sound pretty OK...alright, maybe 1 or 2, especially for pennies on the dollar.
There are some very great benefits to a small set of ODMs making headphones that are rebadged under a lot of brands. If even one ODM develops an inexpensive (e.g. sub $50 retail) decent sounding IEM of decent build quality, that product will likely ripple through the market. Other ODMs will have to change as the brands that buy from them start looking for better quality IEMs to compete.

ODMs are not all bad. Look at the computer industry. I remember when a $3K laptop was a POS that was guaranteed to have some major failure in a year. Now that type of laptop costs <$500. $1500 can get some something incredible.

I can build a $500 desktop rig now that is of far better quality than the $3K "mid range" Dell (designed and manufactured in the USA) I purchased in the mid 90s!

Of course, as has already pointed out, sometimes it's easier to increase your marketing than to actually improve the product...which happens a lot.

There is another reason why sub $100 IEMs seem to be improving at such a rapid pace. The growth of the consumer space in countries like India and China is far greater than the traditional buyer's markets of North America, Japan, and Europe. Hell, pretty soon many countries (e.g. Japan) will be exporting more to India and China than the USA and Europe.

People might strive for $300 IEMs in North America and Europe, but only a very limited set of people in countries like India and China would even consider spending that kind of the money on a headphone. Yet the number of portable media players on that side of the world is exploding and a lot of people wouldn't mind spending some money on headphones.

So there is a lot of motivation to create a great product at the $50 price point. $50 (or $100) is a lot for a lot of people in India and China but it's something that can be reached for. And it's probably going to be some ODM in China who builds it.

We already have more than a few inexpensive IEMs that sound quite a bit more than okay. They are definitely way better than the stuff of yesteryear. I'm sure there will be more to come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo
I guess part of what I get from the article is that Gizmodo are simple headline chasers. They have very little of worth to say, but are very good at saying it.
Honestly, whenever people read "Made In China by a big Corporation" there seems to be reaction as if doing such as thing is total violation of humanity and can only lead to poor quality products.

There is probably one factory that makes the whole range of electronic components that go into the space shuttle and the $25 DVD player that cannot play DVDs

Last edited by odigg; 08-28-2010 at 08:53 PM.
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  #40  
Old 08-28-2010, 09:01 PM
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I 'work' with a headphone supplier here in Korea, borrowing headphones, meeting some fancy suits from different companies. Just about everyone builds in China and there is no problem with it at all. For 30 years or so, the West has decided that it doesn't want to build stuff and people have decided they don't want to pay for it. If any of these headphones were built in China, they retain 30-50% savings over headphones built in 'developed' countries such as Japan or Germany.

But very few people want to pay for that.

One company head who used to work for a large Japanese audio corporation said that when he visited the Chinese factories, indeed, there were lines for Panasonic, for Kenwood, for Sony, and then they were in the same factory.

It's the way it is and quality doesn't suffer for it. What suffers is the economy. China right now is playing a subservient act that they don't need to play. They could decide to clone or, if they had the money, to better what they see and sell it. Countries that rely on China think of a bottom line, but they don't realise, too, that they've given away the rights to manufacture.

Many of them just buy what is available and put their names on it. So, there isn't a large difference between buying A. Japanese and B. Chinese, or C. complete knock offs. Certain brands may have unique items, but many do not and simply share tech with other companies.

And, that is fine.

I'm testing a few earphones now from a company from Vietnam who have OEM'd for a couple of very well-received companies. They are very good other than a bit of bad stress relieving.
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